William Jerome Kaminski

Cochise County Treasurer 1947-1949

William “Bill” Jerome Kaminski was born January 30, 1902, in Dover, New Jersey, to parents Fred Kaminski and Bridget Doyle, descendents of early German and Irish settlers. The family moved to Cochise County in 1909 and Bill graduated from Bisbee High School. Prior to the liquidation of the Bank of Bisbee, Mr. Kaminski was employed as a teller at the bank for 15 years. He then accepted a position in the office of the Cochise County Board of Supervisors as a bookkeeper.

Following the death of his brother Fred F. Kaminski, Bill took over the Chevron General Petroleum Service Station in Tombstone Canyon. For four years, he operated the station on the side, until falling victim to Buerger disease that causes the blood vessels in the arms and legs to become blocked with blood clots, eventually damaging or destroying skin tissue leading to infection and gangrene. After the amputation of his legs, Bill was fitted with artificial legs. He could get around with a set of special boots and crutches and performed his duties in a wheel chair. He drove a specially equipped Oldsmobile using manual controls.

In 1934, William married Mary Sylvia Black. They had one daughter, Sylvia Ann Kaminski Sellers. He ran unsuccessfully for County Treasurer several times prior to winning the 1946 election and re-election in 1948. At the age of 46, Mr. Kaminski passed away in Bisbee on January 25, 1949, and is buried at Evergreen Cemetery. Clerk of the Board William E. Clark and Kaminski both died on the same day. Chief Deputy Frances Lippert was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Treasurer Kaminski.

Photo courtesy Sylvia Kaminski Sellers